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tv   [untitled]    February 17, 2012 5:48pm-6:18pm EST

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in this crackdown actually every element of the country taking part in the security when the security forces are taking part all the different sectors but this basically points to the viewer doing this and then when you are in an area like hamas in baba amr and you've been under siege for twelve or so days and without bread water or electricity or any source of communication then to frustrate people now i'm not saying that that means that what you're going to see is sectarian violence again the government is over exaggerating the sectarian violence what we're seeing is in the army. because people are not able to defect they reach a point where they refuse to open fire at civilians and they will be executed by the regime these people these same soldiers that were executed lifted in funeral processions by the regime claiming that terrorist elements sunni terrorist elements killed them if they were a whites that would probably be the scenario and that would cause a conflict the longer the syrian remain within but it is ok but if you want if you really do it by mathematics then met then most of the victims are sunni because the
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regime is not ok at least the leadership is tragic if i go to you the sectarian differences is something that is downplayed a lot in western media but and that helps downplay the role that saudi arabia kuwait another great democracies by the way in the middle east during the arab spring that the role that they're playing there and again it seems to me it's a domino thing it's all about iran it has nothing to do about democracy it has nothing to do about civil liberties it has nothing to do about human rights it has nothing to do with the syrian people it's just that it's leverage to get out there go after hezbollah to go after iran and that's why you know we have al-qaeda and the united states on the same side in syria amazing geopolitics. i think just on the sectarianism aspect i think that tends to get played up in the absence of politics i don't think there's any fundamental political divides between a lot of these different kind of sectarian groups and i think ultimately does speak to a certain lack of a certain lack of shared ideas or
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a sense of really what they're trying to come together and achieve so i mean i think sectarianism can be overplayed a lot i think that it's interesting there's a lot of scaremongering at the moment about the al-qaeda elements in syria and the free syrian army. starts both from assad and also kind of from the west as well and they're getting nervous about it as well so it's but i think actually that does tend to be scaremongering though these things can be overplayed. if you let me let me stay with you i mean if you're saying that scaremongering this is internationalizing it ok and this again is what we heard assad must go because when you say when the united states says when britain says when france has or somebody has to go they have to go don't they internationalizing it bringing in the al qaeda element. helps make that happen. well yes of course i think that's true and i think we saw with what we saw with the un security council china and russia vetoed the
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resolution and now it seems like it's going to go to the general assembly again it seems like they're going to try to have combinations of assad's britain and france are talking about working together to find ways of helping the free syrian army they're just trying to boycott the process because it didn't work for them it's the same that you see of a lot of kind of global elites where when they don't get their own way they just try and find alternative ways to meddle this thing happening for quite a long time in syria remember the arab league which is not hardly made up of great democratic countries themselves and we have bahrain which at the moment is cracking down on the hospitals for protests the range of protesters is just completely ignored by the west i mean i feel very sorry for the bahraini people because you know they have suffered some hideous crackdowns over the past year and that is just ignored because it's not in their interest to bring that to the fore have to say what is the other aspect that you really see here are other kind of external agents
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kind of brought in like the international atomic energy agency which of its war to syria which no one thinks realistically has nuclear weapons but is brought in in a way to get people on the ground and to meddle and put the pressure on and to meddle in a sovereign countries affairs now that's not something america would ever tolerate america would never tolerate another country going in and saying all of you know we want to crack down on fact you have the death penalty you know there's no respect for national sovereignty in this region a tool ok i think to that extent. neo colonialism where the west is basically saying that these countries are unable to govern their own people we need to come in and teach them how to do democracy ok hurry problem i mean what occurred i tend to agree with you patrick because the more there is these creeping in interventions into into syria and we know that from from lebanon there are arms going in. to syria right now that's been established ok and it's and is this is another mission creep here i mean once this whole process of regime change and that's the ultimate
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goal right here it's just going to it won't go through the united nations they'll be a coalition of the willing and then western powers and their friends in the church and the chattering league or the arab league as it's officially known will support that the term neo colonialism. you know i will say and i'll pretty pretty directly admit one of the one of the worst parts of course with the united states' involvement in iraq was. well there are lots of problems that we could talk about of course but one of the most important problems was that it. did for the near future the idea of intervening even when it's appropriate. you know i don't even want to use the term regime change because the sort of baggage that carries along but. i don't think because there was those sorts of strategic ideological concerns with iraq that it needs to be necessarily made that that's what the united states and other countries are talking about now i don't think this i don't think talk about intervention in the syrian context needs to be the same sort of conversation
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i don't think it necessarily is neo colonialism that we're talking about but having said that i think we can use the the iraq context to bring up a really important point here which is of course one of the big problems with that in the very recent history was fairly poor planning in terms of what happens after the fall of the regime one of my big concerns right now with syria as much as i want to see some kind of involvement i think there's a real obsession with the fall of assad how do we bring down our side how do we make this regime fall how do we do this but there's not a whole lot of conversation about what comes after and peter you mentioned the sectarian question earlier i think this is a real concern for for syrian society whether bashar assad's regime comes down because of intervention or if it comes down at all and if it calms down just in terms of a civil war. we do have to be prepared for what's going to come afterward and i
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don't think the world is discussing that very much what's going to happen when we see the very real possibility of sectarian violence erupting between of course the sunni majority the i'm not alone and i think everybody knows it is going to change and i'm going to be in the. all ok all around me if i can go to you know what's what's happening here how is how is syria evolving and what are the new political realities that are possible with safe parent that equally there is a regime change and as either externally or internally what kind of syria is going to be left behind will it be very much divided will it be partitioned will you see outside powers and i'm thinking of iran i'm thinking of saudi arabia are they going to scramble for some kind of more influence if this is a real fluid situation. well can i first just work on what. actually said. syria at the beginning of this revolution people were not calling
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for ranging change they were calling for reform what they got in reply security forces opening fire at civilians detaining them torturing them some to death but that's actually what happened is it took about a month and ten days until the the ceiling of demands were raised to what is now the toppling of the assad regime the assad regime has continued to deny that they do this see the u.n. the syrian ambassador to the u.n. claims that they're actually protecting these demonstrations russia itself has called on the syrian regime to refrain from excessive use of force so i mean all parties here agree that the syrian regime is using excessive use of force is killing its own civilians i don't understand why we're talking about. an intervention would then would then effect on syria what that would have after effect that would have if the situation continues the way it continues it's going on now it's going to become much worse and then the likely possibility of an
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intervention at that stage would be a catastrophe but what we're asking for now is some solution for some sort of protection for the civilians we've seen a failure of that from from the international community we've seen a failure in politics because countries like russia or china are supporting the syrian regime i think russia in particular and we've seen collision of statements between russia and between syria and don't understand why russia continues to support any theory obviously has passed libya it's called libya and respecting sovereignty how do you want to jump in there go ahead. yes i do makes a good point that things are really bad right now there is a lot of violence going on and i want to make it clear i don't think concern for what might happen after the regime should necessarily be a reason to say we're going to wash our hands of the whole affair but what i what i do think needs to happen is a realistic assessment saying ok if the regime falls can it be worse than what's going on right now. and how how can the world be involved at this point
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don't wait until it's too late to see that it doesn't indeed get worse i think there needs to be a really proper realistic assessment done of how to help the situation after the regime and how to be involved and i'm going to tell you here gentlemen we've run out of time in the can we be very nice if the international community would talk to all syrians and see what they want many thanks to my guest today in washington london and in cairo and thanks to our viewers for watching us here at the c n x time and remember i was talking. to. wealthy british style.
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markets why not. find out what's really happening to the global economy with my stronger for a no holds barred look at the global financial headlines tune into cars a report. you know sometimes you see a story and it seems so you think you understand it and then you glimpse something else you hear or see some other part of it and realize that everything is ok. i'm tom hartman welcome to the big picture. mission free accreditation free zones for judges free to
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arrangements free. three stooges free. download free broadcast quality video for your media projects and free media. tom. welcome to the loner show we look at the real headlines with none of the mersey come alive out of washington d.c. now it's not going to speak to jeremy scahill about his new piece on yemen and how our counterterrorism policies have backfired then jason leopold joins us to tell us why he's suing the f.b.i. the cia a number of other government agencies all for failing to follow the rules when it comes to foil requests and do we get the feeling the ads are following you wherever you go and we're going to spectate speak to trevor tim about the trail that
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companies and websites are collecting on you have all that and more for tonight including a dose of happy hour but first take a look at the mainstream media has decided to miss. all right so it's friday the week isn't quite over yet there's still a lot of news happening in the world today but the mainstream media is basically checked out and they are going full force on what tomorrow will bring. police in new jersey are preparing to shut down the streets of new work ahead of tomorrow's private funeral for whitney houston the parking lot behind me is the one where it is believed that these celebrities and all the invitees some fifteen hundred people it's one of the parking lots they'll be using among those preparing to pay respects to whitney houston denzel washington mel gibson jamie foxx and janet jackson to name a few also we just found out the darling who is whitney's godmother will be performing
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now they're talking about maybe the drugs affected the organs and there was failure over time we don't know yet this morning we're also getting a clearer view of some photographs never seen before of whitney as a young woman you know the first thirty six hours were very respectful of you so much for a special thing to do would be to stay home and watch the service on television it is going to be aired over all the network channels and that would be the best best place to see it. are let me just make one thing clear here i am and always have been a huge whitney houston fan not kidding i listen to the bodyguard soundtrack on repeat nonstop when i was a little girl so the news of her passing saddened me and i think that she deserved to be commemorated celebrated as a groundbreaking female artist with an unmistakable voice that makes everybody get the chills just listening to it but having said all that i'm also going to go ahead and say what i think needs to be said what i'm sure many others out there are thinking of the coverage coming from the mainstream media is
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a little bit overboard i mean we have entire channels dedicated to entertainment news but what happens when every supposedly real news channel just swifts which is entirely to entertainment coverage well let's see they stop talking about the economy over fifteen percent real unemployment they stop talking about our war in afghanistan in which men and women are still losing their lives on a daily basis they stop talking about our civil liberties being a road it thanks a lot makers they have taken advantage of fear the word terrorism stop talking about the civilian deaths the perceptions of the u.s. abroad. due to our policies i guess you could say or hey let me know they don't really cover those things on a regular basis either even when there isn't a celebrity story to cover and ok you have a point right maybe saying if they stop isn't the right word to use maybe it's more like continue to find an excuse to ignore this story or that but it's worth pointing out right so let me just give you one more story that i think deserves some attention but hasn't and will not get it. citigroup has agreed to pay one
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hundred and fifty eight million dollars in a settlement over bad loans the bank passed on to the federal housing administration to insure now we know all about this thanks to a whistle blower now that rare breed right that often is forced to sacrifice their career risk attack on their character the destruction of their personal life to point out wrongdoing the kind of person that should be held up and shown support but which this administration instead has seemed to wage a massive war against something the mainstream media also doesn't cover but here we have a case that was actually a success for the whistleblower in the sense that it led to citigroup having to pay a fine once again just like with the massive fraud foreclosure settlement that was just reached between forty nine states and the five biggest banks settlement itself pretty much a slap on the wrist let's not forget that this is the same citi group the received forty five billion dollars in bailout money and yet for knowingly passing on bad loans the f.h.a. actually encouraging their employees to do so causing millions of dollars in losses and taxpayers insurance claims and profiting off of it all they have to pay one
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hundred fifty eight million dollars in a fine let me just remind you that just in the fourth quarter of two thousand and eleven citigroup's net income totaled one point two billion dollars that is just in the fourth quarter and those were considered to be dismal earnings so now let's go through a couple more details of what exactly this lawsuit exposed to that citi group was up to pro publica is it a nice job of pointing out the juiciest bits for us today the quality control unit in charge of reviewing the mortgages the bad ones that they were selling they had marching orders to pass questionable loans by brute force how the company even started basing compensation for some employees on how many loans got through quality control and those who pushed through the bad loans were rewarded and at the awards ceremony those that actually do the quality control work were humiliated according to this whistleblower how to top it all off at one point citi erased the records of nearly one thousand potentially fraudulent loans and for. all of this they don't get any criminal charges they just have to pay
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a fee so of this is the way that justice is done and the system is never going to change once again the mainstream media didn't even touch the settlement they've got bigger things going on that informing the public of massive fraud on the part of the biggest banks in the country there's a celebrity death they go all out and all other news they choose to miss. well two months after nato strikes killed twenty four pakistani soldiers after an official pentagon investigation reports say that the obama administration is actively considering issuing an apology or at least an expression of contrition it would be a rare move and it makes us think of the many civilian casualties of u.s. drone strikes for which there are no apologies let alone figures released considering that the cia doesn't publicly discuss its program but the civilian toll is not only felt in pakistan but other countries are relayed shadow wars as well so today let's talk about yemen and
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a new piece for the nation magazine jeremy scahill takes a look at internal conflict in yemen and how u.s. counterterrorism policy has not only been taken advantage of as a cash cow for the saudi regime but how it's also strengthening the very threat that it seeks to eliminate al qaeda in the arabian peninsula so joining me to discuss is jeremy scahill national security correspondent for the nation magazine jeremy thanks so much for joining us tonight and i guess i'm just going to start with the way that you start off your piece you start by focusing on an area called zinjibar and you say that really the yemeni forces attempts to take it back was a turning point a very incredible important test for regimes that tell us why is it that holds so much significance well let's remember that president obama began bombing yemen less than a year into his presidency the first u.s. airstrike authorized by obama was in december of two thousand and nine and it was not a drone strike actually it was it was a cruise missile strike launched from the ocean and it slammed into
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a very poor remote bedwyn village and it was allegedly aimed at al qaeda members but in reality the people that were killed were forty more than forty who are bedouins that lived in this very remote area and in fact this was this episode. became somewhat infamous around the world because in the wiki leaks cables it was revealed that general david petraeus who at the time was the centcom commander actually went to yemen and met with president ali abdullah saleh after this missile strike and the two of them conspired to cover it up in fact salis said will continue to say that the bombs are ours and not yours and so what with that kicked off a string of air strikes that president obama authorized some of which hit the intended targets and others hitting civilians or killing important tribal leaders or opponents of solids regime so i put all of that out there in response to your question because you have to understand the context of what we're going to talk
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about when we talk about what's going on in zinjibar in the south of yemen right now is three years of sustained airstrikes where a lot of civilians have been killed and even in cases where the so-called right person has been killed yemenis don't like the fact that the u.s. is bombing their country and so in may of last year a group calling itself sorrow shari'a the supporters of sharia law essentially marched into town in zinjibar which is the capital of abi on province and they chased away the local authorities and they declared themselves the rulers of this town and they did it in a number of areas and when when the u.s. funded units who were responsible for fighting counterterrorism were confronted with this group coming in they simply fled and they left behind their weapons that the u.s. had provided them and then when the yemeni military not trained by the united states not supported by the solid family was tasked with trying to clear the city these militants for months are all shari'a took the u.s.
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weapons and started to shell the yemeni national forces and some analysts that i spoke to in yemen believe that the saleh regime allowed these guys to come in and take the city to sort of send a message to the united states that if you allow me to leave or if you push for my departure and i'm talking to you from new york right now and i'll have. well if i was in new york at the ritz carlton hotel he was trying to basically say the united states i'm the only guy who can fight terror in yemen and it's without me this is what's going to happen across the country the problem is for that from a u.s. perspective this is really blowback whether or not follow allowed it to happen whether or not under all shari'a is actually just a crude sort of front for al qaeda in the arabian peninsula has become irrelevant because the political ideas of entourage shari'a very conservative islamic ideas shari'a law imposed with with violence on a population has brought law and order and has gained support of tribal leaders who are quite simply fed up with u.s. airstrikes in the u.s.
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support for the the sollie club talk see and all the brutality that comes with a break in here for a second to reckon you're talking about sol a who wants to send a message to the obama administration to us that we can't do this without him but do you also think that the u.s. trained forces are taking advantage of the u.s. has only come from higher up or has also worked on a lower level that they were right about this in your piece that this is perhaps a cash cow that they're exploiting this and letting the situation get worse on purpose. right i mean well let's let's let's remember too that it was under president bush's time you know time in power that the united states began funding arming and training these so-called counterterrorism units that are run by solid son ahmed ali who's the head of the republican guard and then yes ali who's the head of the counterterrorism unit the idea behind it was that these forces were going to fight al qaida and they were going to work with the united states and that's why they were going to be given all this funding and all this weaponry and
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all of this training many people in yemen say they've never actually fought any terrorists that what they their entire purpose is to defend the regime and so yeah i think that you know it's to their benefit to have the perception that there's this huge problem with terrorism and terrorists in yemen but i also think that so i think you're right in what you're saying but i also think that they played the united states and they played the terrorism card you know there's been more you know prison breaks in yemen than there were you know then that crew from that fox news show prison break broke out of prison i mean michael scofield the big character that show must be working for al qaeda could they're breaking out of prison like every week and lo and behold they break out of prison as soon as the yemeni government wants more counterterrorism funding so you know this is a very complicated game and i think that you know american officials are quite arrogant when they meet with leaders of very poor countries and i think they always thought they were smarter than sol and he's a better chess player than john brennan and the other american officials he deals
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with well what do you think at the end of the day right because a lot of this has to do it ends up being a vicious circle right they don't like the fact and i don't blame them rightly so that u.s. airstrikes are killing civilians and wreaking havoc right in yemen on local populations at the same time they think fall a allowing this to happen backing it and so they end up going elsewhere and for now my feeling to al qaeda in the arabian peninsula but do you think that if the u.s. had no presence there at all clearly that iraq. well that's certainly what a lot of yemenis told me including yemenis that are very pro-american and at the hour they say that if the u.s. had just left us alone we probably have less terrorism in yemen than we do today i mean i certainly think that while the united states or the obama administration may be very proud of the fact that for instance they killed anwar a lot t. who's of course a u.s. citizen and samir khan who was killed along with him was also a u.s. citizen let's remember that two weeks later they the u.s.
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military and cia forces killed sixteen year old of the raaf mana locky who was on where a lot he's sixteen year old son also a u.s. citizen so we've killed three u.s. citizens in a two week period and when i would ask yemenis about that they would say to me well what about the forty something bedouins that obama killed or what about the governor of mara province who was killed in an airstrike and then there is a europe you all focus on the americans we're focused on our people that you're killing you say that these programs are terrorists we say are drones or terrorism so you know i do think that the united states names needs to back away from this idea that you know you can engage in this cruise missile or drone strike fueled war of attrition and kill the finite number of bad guys in the world because that's just not the way it works we're creating more enemies so at the end of the day i think the yemenis who say there would have been less terrorism at the u.s. not than this or are they're probably right and i think that that's a i think that's a defensible position and it should inform some u.s. policy going forward we don't learn from our from our horrid mistakes i mean look
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at the disaster in afghanistan right now what's the end of that going to be the taliban have to be brought to the table because they have indigenous support in some of these areas the u.s. is so afraid of the word islam that they are pushing aside perhaps the only political forces in these countries that could stabilize them these are religious countries there's going to be some religious form of governance in it that is indigenous to people so you know that the u.s. needs to back away from just thinking being kill your way to peace and start negotiating with the people that actually can bring some form of the bill. that in these countries when you bring that up to you and in your piece you're talking one of the tribal leaders there who says that why don't we get paid by the u.s. they paid after the lockerbie bombing and so why can't we get some kind of compensation for that do you think of that's a good idea you know would that fix anything or what is the way forward now i mean you know it's kind of funny and you know you and i have talked about a variety of countries that sort of dot the landscape of these undeclared wars that the obama administration is waging in every country that i've sort of been in the
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last year or so in afghanistan in somalia and elsewhere and sometimes people think i'm a cia person and they want to sort of cut a deal with me or ask me to stop paying them or they want to you know send a message and in yemen it was no different where you know i met with several tribal leaders who said why doesn't the u.s. put us on the payroll like they did with the awakening councils in iraq you know as a people study history they see what happens all swear at you know everyone's running their angle but you know that's that i think is a very dangerous slope that you can start falling down back into one nine hundred eighty s. you know style contra stuff where you start arming all these local forces and you know the u.s. doesn't doesn't have any credible intelligence on the ground in yemen and the last thing they need to do is start putting a bunch of bunch of shakes on the on the payroll and they don't know where their weapons are going to go or where the money is going to go i guess they get out of it he wants the money the right one they've seen the examples from the past over so you mention the fact that you know we we need our government leaders we need our military officials to actually pay attention to what they're doing but how do you
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get average people to also be interested the average american right if what you're laying out here and it's not something that has not been argued before is that our counterterrorism policies are in fact only making things worse than how do you get the public to pressure on it you know there is this poll last week that says that the majority of americans actually support the obama administration's use of the drone program they also said that in the case of going after american citizens but if they knew this information when they still feel that way. i mean it's not just a majority of americans it was eighty three percent of americans you know including seventy percent seventy seven percent of people that consider themselves liberal democrats so what that says to me is that this administration has normalized assassination as a staple of u.s. foreign policy you know for a whole generation of liberals and the fact is that the poll numbers drop only slightly when.

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